hdhEnews issue: March 30, 2015

Inside this issue:

Construction of new retail pharmacy underway at Hotel Dieu
Leadership Breakfast features bestselling author Amanda Lindhout 
Taking the “lite” approach to gait therapy for kids with special needs
ASK THE EXPERT:  “When do I need screening for colon cancer?”
Hop on the bus for health care!
Country recording star Gord Bamford gives back to Child Life

Demolition of space in lobbyConstruction of new retail pharmacy underway at Hotel Dieu

That hammering and drilling you might be hearing in our main lobby these days is the sound of a new retail pharmacy under construction.  Owned and operated by Lovell Drugs, the pharmacy could save patients and families an extra stop on the way home after their hospital visit.

“Having an on-site retail pharmacy will provide additional choice to patients, families and staff who need prescriptions for medication or health care devices such as splints or crutches,” says Elizabeth Bardon, Chief of Public Relations and Community Engagement, pointing out that many hospitals now have on-site retail pharmacies.

“That proximity to the hospital care environment allows patients to choose to obtain medications or devices at the same visit as their clinic appointment, Urgent Care visit, procedure or surgery if they wish.”  

The pharmacy will step into the lobby footprint previously occupied by the Kawartha Credit Union, which is moving to a new location at the corner of Bagot and Johnson Streets as it expands to better serve its clients.   The Credit Union closed its Hotel Dieu location on December 31, 2014 after a strong relationship with the hospital for more than 60 years.

Bardon says that the new pharmacy may also provide additional strategies to support accurate medication reconciliation for patients and, for those patients with complex care needs, to improve awareness of the importance of taking medications as prescribed.

And by leasing hospital space to Lovell Drugs, Hotel Dieu also has the opportunity to bring in additional and necessary revenues, says Bardon.

“Patients, families and staff will continue to have choice about where they go for prescriptions and devices,” she says.  “An on-site pharmacy will expand their choice and provide greater convenience to those who need prompt and easy access to retail pharmacy services.

The new Lovell Drugs Pharmacy is on schedule to open in early May.

Photo:  Demolition is almost completed to make way for the new Lovell Drugs Pharmacy, slated to open in Hotel Dieu's main lobby in early May 2015.

Amanda Lindhout Leadership Breakfast speakerLeadership Breakfast features bestselling author Amanda Lindhout    

New York Times bestselling author Amanda Lindhout is the featured speaker at the 2015 Hotel Dieu Hospital Leadership Breakfast on May 27, 2015.  Kidnapped and held in Somalia for more than a year, she has an amazing story to tell about her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity. 

In 2008, Ms. Lindhout (a Canadian) and several members of her entourage were kidnapped in Somalia where she was then held for 15 months.  Her memoir of that time—A House in the Sky—was named a New York Times Notable Book in 2013.  Since obtaining her freedom, she has worked to cultivate peace and leadership in Somalia, and has founded the Global Enrichment Foundation, dedicated to women’s empowerment, education and famine relief programs in Somalia. 

The Leadership Breakfast is slated for 6:30-9 am, Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the Residence Inn by Marriott, Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl St., Kingston. Tickets at $110, with an early-bird rate of $100 until April 1.  Click here for more details and to buy tickets.

Physiotherapist with young patient using LiteGaitTaking the “lite” approach to gait therapy for kids with special needs

Courtesy of a $10,450 donation from Volunteer Services, new technology in the Child Development Centre is providing wonderful support to children undergoing therapy to improve gait impairments.

The Volunteers raised the funds to purchase the brightly-coloured pediatric LiteGait® system, a gait training device that clinicians can use in conjunction with a treadmill or simply over the ground.

The system ensures proper posture, reduces weight bearing, eliminates concerns for balance and facilitates the training of coordinated lower extremity movement.  Its harness design allows the therapist to adjust the weight-bearing load from non to full weight-bearing and also to manually assist a child’s legs and pelvis to achieve proper gait patterns.

“We’re very grateful to the Volunteers for this equipment,” says CDC Physiotherapist Lesley Prevost.  “It means children who are non-ambulatory can practice gait training in a controlled environment and it allows the clinician to focus in on individual components of the child’s gait. 

“The children clearly enjoy being upright, which helps them become more engaged in their therapy session.  The LiteGait creates an ideal environment for treating kids with a wide range of impairments and functional levels.”

Volunteer Services to Hotel Dieu Hospital was pleased to provide funds for this special piece of equipment, says President Sharon Suddergaard.

“It enhances the child’s therapy, builds self-esteem and confidence, and puts a smile on their face," she says.  "These funds would not have been possible without the support of our community. They were raised from our second successful Three Decades of Elvis show, held at the Grand Theatre last fall.  We thank the many volunteers who worked on this event, those who purchased tickets and our many generous sponsors.”

Photo:  CDC Physiotherapist Lesley Prevost and young Gage combine therapy with fun on the new LiteGait equipment in the Child Development Centre.

Dr. HookeyASK THE EXPERT:  “When do I need screening for colon cancer?” 

Colon cancer has a detectable pre-malignant stage—good news for those who are vigilant about getting their backsides in for screening.  HDH gastroenterologist Dr. Lawrence Hookey explains why.  Here, he responds to common queries about colon cancer screening:

Q:  When do I need to be screened for colon cancer?

A:  As a rule, assuming you have no symptoms related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, you should be talking to your family doctor or nurse practitioner about screening if you:

  • are over the age of 50, or
  • have a family history of colon cancer or polyps, or
  • have had inflammatory bowel disease for some time, or
  • have any of a number of rare genetic disorders that predispose to colon cancer.

Q:  Why should I bother with screening? 

A:  Put simply, because colon cancer has a detectable “pre-malignant” stage (polyps) that can be dealt with, reducing the risk of developing cancer.  As well, subjects in whom the disease is diagnosed early tend to fare better with treatment.

ColonscopyQ:  Is screening 100% effective in preventing colon cancer? 

A:  No, but then neither is screening for breast cancer.  Remember to remain on the lookout for symptoms even if you are in a screening/surveillance program.  [NOTE:  As colorectal cancer progresses, the following late stage symptoms may occur: change in bowel movements; blood (bright red or very dark) in the stool; diarrhea or constipation; narrower than usual stools; stomach discomfort; unexplained weight loss; fatigue. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about appropriate treatment for you.]

Q:  Which test should I have? 

A:  Keep in mind that most screening strategies represent a trade-off between what is ideal and what is practical and affordable.  Also, screening strategies are determined to some degree by your perceived risk of developing cancer.

Having said that, if you’re at “average risk” for colon cancer (that is, you have no family history, no genetic predisposition and no inflammatory bowel disease), then the best test is the one that gets done.  That includes screening options such as the Fecal Occult Blood Test (available through your family doctor or pharmacist as part of the provincial screening program), which can be combined with a flexible sigmoidoscopy (available at Hotel Dieu with a referral from your family doctor).  If you are at increased risk for colon cancer, speak to your doctor.

McCoy BusHop on the bus for health care!

Be one of the first to shuttle around our hospitals and learn more about the amazing health care in our community.  The University Hospitals Kingston Foundation has a special passport waiting for you!

Community members are welcome to join UHKF’s first McCoy Passport to Healthcare Tour of 2015 on Wednesday, April 15 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. 

The bus departs from the UHKF parking lot at 55 Rideau Street.  This April tour includes the Surgical Suite at Hotel Dieu Hospital and the Imaging (MRI) Suite at Kingston General Hospital. 

The tour is an excellent opportunity to learn about state-of-the-art technology and equipment and to interact directly with medical staff at Hotel Dieu and KGH.  Meet the people whose skills and talents save and change lives and hear why upgrades to operating rooms and a second MRI machine are so important to advancing health care in our region.

For more information, click here.  To register, please contact Marie Mackenzie at marie.mackenzie@uhkf.ca or 613-549-5452 extension 5914. 

Space is limited, so don’t delay.  See you on the bus!

Gord Bramford with Child Life and Pediatric staffCountry recording star Gord Bamford gives back to Child Life

Canadian country recording star Gord Bamford was on hand March 10 to present a cheque for $10,000 to Child Life Services in Kingston’s hospitals, funds that will be used to support kids as they face the challenge and stress that can come with a hospital visit or stay.

Winner of 19 Canadian Country Music Association Awards and nominated twice for a Juno, Bamford was in town to play the Grand Theatre and took the opportunity to support a cause close to his heart:  pediatric health care.  Having a newborn daughter spend two weeks for a medical procedure in a Calgary hospital made him deeply appreciative of Canada’s medical system.

Giving back to that system has become a priority for Bamford, and over the past seven years his charitable foundation has donated about $2 million from an annual charity golf classic to children’s hospitals, Ronald MacDonald Houses, Boys and Girls Clubs and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Hotel Dieu is one of seven hospitals he is visiting on his current concert tour.

During his March visit to the Children’s Outpatient Centre at Hotel Dieu, Bamford and members of his band performed two songs for children and their families and posed for loads of photos. 

“This kind of help means a lot to the kids and their families,” said Dr. Robert Connelly, head of pediatrics, “and it means a lot to those of us who provide pediatric care to know we have this community of support.”

Watch a video of the cheque presentation here.

Photo:  On hand for the donation to the Gord Bamford Foundation were (l-r):  Kate Stewart, Child Life Services; Dr. Robert Connelly, Head, Pediatrics Dept., Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital; Gord Bamford; and Susan Creasy, Chair, UHKF Campaign Committee